The 2012 Summer Olympics in London closed on August 12 with the US coming at the top of the medal count with 104 medals, 46 of those gold. The US was followed by China, the UK, and Russia in the medal count.
While not raking in the amount of medals the US, China, and Russia did, some African countries made a stellar showing in the medal count and the medalists come from every region of the continent -- north, south, east and west.
As previously reported, South Africa scored four medals early in the games and added two more to bring its total to six (3 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze). The additional two medals came from a silver medal win in the women’s 800-meter track and field event and a bronze in the canoe sprint race.
While South Africa may have been at the top of the African leader board early on, Kenya overtook the country by almost doubling the South African medal count. The East African country scored 11 medals, with two of them being gold. The country’s athletes made an impressive showing in the track and field events gaining two gold, four silver, and five bronze. One of Kenya’s gold medals came from a win in the men’s 800-meter track and field event by David Luketa Rudisha. Kenya also scored a bronze in this event with Timothy Kitum taking the number three spot in the race.
Ethiopia was the next on the African leader board with seven medals and like Kenya, they were all in the track and field events. Ethiopia scored three gold, one silver, and three bronze. Unlike Kenya all of Ethiopia’s gold medals come from the women on its team. Meseret Defar, Tiki Gelana, and Tirunesh Dibaba all brought home the gold for the Ethiopian team in the women’s 500-meter, the women’s marathon, and the women’s 10,000-meter respectively.
Tunisia added to its medal count from the opening events bringing home one of each medal. The country’s gold medal came from Oussama Mellouli with a win in the men’s 10-km marathon swimming event. Melloouli also brought home a bronze in the men’s 1,500-meter freestyle. The silver came from Habiba Ghribi who came in second in track and field’s women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase event.
Africa’s last two gold medals came from Algeria and Uganda. Algeria’s Taoufik Makhloufi brought a gold medal home for Algeria by winning the men’s 1,500- meter track and field event. Uganda’s Stephen Kiprotich ended the country’s four decade Olympic gold drought by winning the men’s marathon.
While not scoring gold, four other African countries made it to the medal podium during the Olympics: Botswana, Egypt, Gabon, and Morocco. Botswana’s Nijel Amos came in second behind Kenya’s Rudisha in the 800-meter track and field event to bring home a silver medal for his country. Egypt scored two silvers, one in fencing and the other in wrestling. Morocco won silver in the men’s 1,500-meter track and field event, coming in second behind fellow North African country Algeria. The only West African country to score a medal in the 2012 event was Gabon. Anthony Obame brought home silver in the men’s taekwondo heavyweight event. Obame is sure to be a hero in Gabon, as the country has never won a medal in its Olympic history.
Congratulations to all of Africa’s winners!
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